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Advice for a new collector...

Article about: Some guys say steer clear of relics,but as this is the cheapest way into collecting and learning i say get a few relics.i have been collecting years and will only buy relics as to me they ar

  1. #11

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    Some guys say steer clear of relics,but as this is the cheapest way into collecting and learning i say get a few relics.i have been collecting years and will only buy relics as to me they are full of character and actual mud in some cases from the battlefield .if after a period of learning then you should if you want move into something with liner and chinstrap ,but this area is bedevilled by fakes that never seen germany more like china.learn from the guys on the forum its invaluble

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    Thank you all for the advice. I have been putting a lot of hours into researching helmets, and I mean a lot , maybe 4 hours a day since March!! So much that I think my girlfriend might leave me! I think I'm learning fast. Obviously I have along way to go yet though.. I'll just keep reading.. and reading.. and reading

  4. #13

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    Jim, If you are going to start collecting German helmets, pick up a few books. Great starting books are Ludwig Baer's "The History of the German Steel Helmet" for overall perspective (this book is at least 20 years old, and not as good on some things as the next few books that I will mention, but it is still a "must have" on your reference shelf), Ken Niewiarowicz's "Germany's Combat Helmets, 1935-1945, A Modern Study" for excellent pictures of all of the key characteristics to look for in a prospective purchase, and Kelly Hicks' "SS Steel" for a very good overview of one of the biggest minefields in helmet collecting, SS helmets. Go to militaria shows and pick up some helmets to see how they feel, smell, look, etc., but be careful because in recent years, at least in the north east of the U.S., many of the helmets on display at these shows are fake. I like yard sales and flea markets, and the old junk shops, because often there are treasures to be had right out of an attic. Be very careful of auction sites, such as Ebay, but again, from time to time something real is available on Ebay. Many dealers have websites, and you have a bit more protection if you deal with a dealer one to one rather than taking chances with an auction. Dealers often will give you inspection and return privileges (but beware, some will charge a "restocking fee"). The dealers' sites also give you the opportunity to see pictures of alot of different helmets, and give you at least a ball park idea of what particular types of helmet are going to cost you when you finally brave the terrain and jump into the buyer's market. This site is a very good source as well, as many who know alot more than I regularly share their knowledge with those of us who are still learning. If you are interested in a piece, you can post pictures on this site an the other members will give you a pretty fair idea of whether the item is real or not, and the fair value of it. It is, of course, an addiction. As Ray Milland once said in "The Lost Weekend", "[O]ne is too many any a million is not enough!" Good luck and good hunting. Jim G.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    I think it is valid advice to save up and only buy really nice examples, but also buying lesser examples can be a good way to go about things as well. You can spend less money and buy a less than perfect condition helmet and later replace it in your collection with a nicer condition helmet of the same model when one comes along at an acceptable price. Then you can sell or trade your helmet that is in worse condition. In this way you can build up relationships in the collecting community and have greater access to items of interest. Also hopefully your helmet that you are going to sell off has increased in value and you can make some money. Also, by selling your helmet you can defray some of the cost of the better example you are purchasing. Whichever way you go about collecting I would not recommend buying reproductions, in my opinion they are worthless.

  6. #15

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    Thanks Jim G and Matt. I will be in a position, financially, to start looking for my first nice-ish lid soon. Until then I will just keep on learning!
    Many Thanks

  7. #16

    Default Re: Advice for a new collector...

    I'll echo everybody else here. Get the absolutely best quality helmet you can (can't afford) stretching for a purchase today makes sense because the prices move up constantly at the higher end.

    I would avoid exotics like camo, winters and wire helmets. Not unless they are vetted by a stone cold expert.

    Also handle helmets. Internet pictures cannot compare to handling, feeling and smelling the real deal. Maybe you can link up with a collector in your area and handles some shells.

    Also beware, collecting is addictive. 12 step addictive. Maybe your girlfriend will be more into some oaks with diamonds or a pilot observers with diamonds. They like shiny things.

    Good luck!

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